Custody Preparation for Moms

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CUSTODY PREPARATION FOR MOMS FACT SHEET

Domestic Violence

 

>  Nearly 1 in 3 adult women experience at least 1 physical assault by a partner during adulthood. (American Psychological Association; Violence and the Family Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family 1996, p. 10.) [Hereinafter called APA 1996]

>  40-60% of men who abuse women also abuse children.(APA 1996, p.80.)

>  Most intimate partner victimizations are not reported to the police. Only approximately 1/5 of all rapes, 1/4 of all physical assaults, and 1/2 of all stalkings perpetrated against female respondents by intimates were reported to the police. The majority of victims who did not report their victimization to the police thought the police would not or could not do anything on their behalf. These findings suggest that most victims of intimate partner violence do not consider the justice system an appropriate vehicle for resolving conflicts with intimates. (Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Series, Tjaden and Thoennes, National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000)

>  Short term (6-12 week) psycho-educational batterer-intervention programs helped some batterers stop immediate physical violence but were inadequate in stopping abuse over time. Some batterers became more sophisticated in their psychological abuse and intimidation after attending such programs. (APA 1996, p. 85.)

>  Each year, an estimated 3.3 million children witness their mothers or female caretakers being abused. (APA 1996, p. 11.)

Exposure to stress, trauma and persistent fear at an early age can change a child's brain chemistry and cause the child to have lifelong mental, psychological and social problems. (Perry, Incubated in Terror: Neurodevelopmental Factors in the 'Cycle of Violence' In: Children, Youth and Violence: The Search for Solutions, pp 124-148, 1997.)

>  For all types of maltreatment, more than half of the children who were victims were maltreated by one or both of their parents. The most striking difference, however, is that children who were victims of physical and sexual abuse, compared to children who were victims of neglect and medical neglect, were more likely to be maltreated by a male parent acting alone. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau, Child Maltreatment 1998, Reports From the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System)

>  Studies show batterers are able to convince authorities that the victim is unfit or undeserving of sole custody in approximately 70% of challenged cases. (American Judges Association)

>  Fathers who batter mothers are 2 times more likely to seek sole physical custody of their children than are non-violent fathers. (APA1996, p. 40.)

>  Despite myths put out by fathers that mothers always win custody cases, fathers actually win custody in 70% of custody disputes, and this is true even though most men who abuse women and children are far more likely than other fathers to fight for custody and engage in prolonged litigation. (Zorza, Batterer Manipulation and Retaliation: Denial and Complicity in the Family Courts, 2001, Abrams & Greaney, Report of the Gender Bias Study of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 62-63, 1989, APA 1996, p. 40.

 

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